Thursday, December 17, 2009

US pledges $2.7 billion dollars for Kenyan AIDS program

The US will give $2.7 million dollars of the PEPFAR money to Kenya. PEPFAR is short for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The PEPFAR program started by President Bush and is undergoing some restructuring under President Obama. Over a million people are living with AIDS in Kenya.

From Reuters, reporter Jeremy Clarke descibes the need for AIDS funding in Kenya.

The money, which is to be dispersed over the next five years, represents a 112 percent increase in funding for the programme in Kenya, east Africa's largest economy. It is seen by the United States as an enhancement of a successful programme.

"Kenya is now the biggest recipient of this programme in the world, more than South Africa," U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger told reporters in Nairobi.

He said the agreement with Nairobi meant the government was expected to increase direct budget support for the fight against HIV/AIDS by a minimum of 10 percent annually.

The programme will include caring for more than 550,000 orphans and vulnerable children, as well as helping manage other related co-infections such as Tuberculosis, Kenyatta said.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 72 percent of the world's AIDS-related deaths with 1.4 million last year, while an estimated 1.9 million people in the region were newly infected with HIV.

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